Thursday, December 12, 2013

Guitars and copy.

I tripped upon a line of prose that gave me pause.

I read it in the obituary in "The New York Times" of jazz guitarist Jim Hall. "Mr. Hall's style," it read "with the austere grace of a Shaker chair has sounded effortlessly modern at almost every juncture of his long career."

I don't know Jim Hall's music, but I liked that line.

I like the austere grace of a Shaker chair.

I like effortlessly modern.

It makes me think of playing that is just right. That is implicit and inviolable. That stands out without shouting. That is present in its simplicity.

In fact, the phrase made me think of how Ed McCabe or David Altschiller  or Curvin O'Reilly used to write copy. Or Helmut Krone or Roy Grace used to art direct.

There was no ornamentation. To pretense. No ostentation.

Yet their work stood out.

It called attention to itself by not calling attention to itself.

Riffs to think about next time you have work to do.

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